Jim's Richard III Blog

What had started as a blog of Richard III rehearsal process at Cal Shakes has now evolved or devolved into a small novella. The author is petrified to change the name for fear it'll disappear, and wouldn't know what to call it anyway. Many stories are included and questions are even answered sometimes!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

War Music


Well, I got a week down and launched into the first part of a workshop for a show to be done at ACT next year, War Music, based on Christopher Logue's epic poem of the epic poem, the Illiad. It's an adaptation, a retelling of this story which is vibrant, hysterically funny, and brings a modern voice to the story, a modern ear; it's not put in a different time or country but is the Trojan War (with many cuts judiciously done by the adaptor and director, Lillian Groag) in it's entire.

It's simply stunning. Mr. Logue has done an amazing, almost impossible thing--he's told the tale faithfully, without stinting, without losing a single image that Homer's original contained, and the words! Ah!

And so many of them......the reading, which was not staged in any way ran about 3 hrs and 20 minutes, and Lillian is now faced with the monumental task of pruning it still further without losing any of it's richness, and with figuring out the focus for the piece--who's story is it? Achilles, who begins and ends the piece but is largely absent from the middle of it, or the War in it's entirety? And if it's not Achilles, how do you go about focusing it, to bring the lens of today to it? Not an easy task, but one I know she's up to.

From my scant knowledge of it Logue apparently began it in the late 1950's and finally had it published (this from the inside of Lillian's own book) in 2000. I think it's amazing piece and when it is finally pared down will be incredibly Theatrical, deeply human and funny. Read it for yourself--you'll have to special order it, most likely.

It'll be worth it--see it next year at ACT.

1 Comments:

Blogger marshlady said...

I was at the reading and I agree completely.

April 30, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

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